“It was important for us to look at our current policies and procedures across the board to figure out ways we can improve how we serve the community,” said Health Director Maritza Bond. “One simple way was making sure that citizens had a reliable avenue to report public health concerns outside of regular business hours. Especially when waiting the next business day could be extended by a holiday or weekend, this hotline is an important resource.”
Another goal of this service is to relieve some of the burden from 911 operators and emergency personnel who have been fielding these after-hour phone calls in the past. By residents differentiating between what is a public health concern and what is a life-threatening emergency, they will reach health-related solutions more efficiently.
What is Public Health Emergency?
· Property maintenance complaints (i.e. lack of heat or hot water)
· Unsanitary practices at restaurants
· Suspected food-borne illness at food establishments
· Housing Inspections
o For example: If a resident suspects lead in their home.
· Reports from Hospital Personnel
o For example: If a hospital requests an emergency relocation for a resident due to a lead poisoned home.
This hotline is just one of the many initiatives that the Health Department has undertaken since Bond became Health Director in 2016.
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